Maybe you’ve been wearing L.L. Bean your entire life. Maybe you’ve received a new set of pajamas as a holiday gift from Dad every year, or maybe you were recently introduced to the heritage brand by way of the “Ironic Boat and Tote” wave that has taken over social media as of late. No matter how you became an L.L. Bean fan, there’s no denying that the brand is the GOAT when it comes to durable, outdoorsy, cozy-cabin heritage apparel—and right now, that signature tote is taking center stage.
It’s not like Gracie Weiner—creator of the Instagram handle and herald of the trend—is the first person to get creative with monogramming, but she definitely launched a subculture of people just discovering the iconically preppy brand by way of snarky slogans on that classic oversized tote. The community has grown, producing such hits as, “psycho” (the one that started it all), “unhinged”, “666”, and—our personal favorite duo: “Wellbutrin” and “GAY PANIC”.
Meme-worthy Instagram accounts aside, there’s certainly a slew of other top-notch pieces from L.L. Bean that are worth shopping season after season; the “Boat and Tote” bag may be a modern-day canvas for jokes, but there’s a reason why the brand has been an iconic American outfitter for over a century. So while you may have come for a tongue-in-cheek monogram, you’ll likely stay for the New England classics, like the impenetrable L.L. Bean Boots, the brand’s durable Field Jackets, and L.L. Bean flannel shirts for every mood. Here are the eight L.L. Bean items that remain essential year over year.
The OG Bean Boots
You’ve seen L.L. Bean Boots on everyone from fisherman to finance bros, which proves that these all-weather boots subvert the typical trend cycle, and will be in-style for decades to come. There’s a reason that these sewn-in-Maine boots have been a symbol of the brand (just look at the giant version that sits outside L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, ME). Any self-respecting shopper—or, you know, someone looking for L.L. Bean winter boots—will start their Bean journey here, since its waterproof rubber sole and full-grain leather upper will keep your feet dry and warm for multiple slushy seasons ahead. If you want to really spoil your toes, go for the shearling-lined pair.
The perfect fit topper
Chore coats this, peacoats, yadda yadda—the one piece of outerwear that looks just as good atop a tuxedo as it does a pair of chinos (cc: @wmbrownproject), is the eternally cool Field Jacket. Whether you go for the classic iteration in heavy-duty cotton canvas or for an iteration updated with waxed-cotton that can be thrown in the wash, you’ll be protected from the elements while gaining massive style points.
A flannel shirt 90-plus years in the making
It’s time to toss that thrifted red flannel that is so old, you stood in line for Hot Hot Heat tickets in it. Seriously, grunge is out and gorpcore-prep is back in—but that doesn’t mean you can’t headbang in L.L.Bean’s heavy flannel Chamois shirt, it just means you can also wear it to family dinner before hitting the mosh pit. This shirt is basically an heirloom right out of the box, considering that THE Leon Leonwood Bean created it himself over 90 years ago. Its incredibly soft brushed cotton is quite durable, and only gets better with time—so it may actually be the last flannel shirt you ever need to buy.
While everyone simps for Patagonia, you’ll earn way more points out here by rocking the much more underground L.L. Bean Sweater Fleece pullover. Sure, everyone’s got a Patagonia Snap-T fleece, or opts for The North Face’s signature Nuptse puffer, but L.L. Bean’s prints go hard—like this forest green, herringbone-esque pattern that should hit layered or worn on its own.
Anorak ‘em up
It’s not easy being steezy, especially when it’s pouring rain. But you’ll look cool, calm, and trail-ready in a zesty anorak, which comes in some really gorped-out color combos, the majority of which are currently on sale. Composed of water- and wind-resistant supplex nylon to face the elements, this jacket also stows away into its own pocket, ideal for camping and light-packing. While it might be hard to pick your fave hue, you won’t regret this purchase when the tears are being torn from your eyes by wind, because your torso will feel all gravy, baby.
Maximum cozy boi
You know who’s always rocking a robe and slippers at home? That sexy MFer, Don Draper, that’s who, and if you say you don’t want to be as cool and smooth as that fictional ad man, you’re lying. Achieve peak “man of the house” aesthetic with a classic and comfy flannel robe (which, yes, you can have embroidered with “daddy”) and a sumptuous pair of L.L. Bean’s own Wicked Good Slippers (yes, that’s literally what they’re called) which boast all the toasty, shearling-lined comfort of a classic suede slipper—and are a helluva lot cooler than your girlfriend’s snow-battered pair of beloved UGGs.
Time to Be An Outsider™, pals.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals?Sign up for our newsletter.